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Local authorities must fix stadia ahead of new PSL season

Editorials
Rufaro Stadium

PREMIER Soccer League (PSL) teams are busy shopping for players as they gear up for the start of the 2023 season.

Giants, particularly Dynamos and Caps United, are conducting their transfer business early, while Highlanders have managed to retain their top players. The buying and selling has whetted the appetite for the new season.

It promises to be another exciting episode, especially with Manica Diamonds investing in a host of new players while champions FC Platinum have since chopped off five and signed three.

Already there is a buzz around the new season with fans expecting much more from their teams, but for Dynamos fans in particular, the state of their ceremonial home ground — Rufaro Stadium — is threatening to douse the excitement.

DeMbare are hoping to return to their spiritual home — Rufaro Stadium — having shared the National Sports Stadium with Caps United and Herentals last season after the Mbare facility was condemned by authorities.

With Sakunda having pulled out of the project to spruce up the facility to international standards, Harare City Council, which owns the stadium, has promised to inject money for the renovations.

But with the season set to start in March, it is concerning that no work has started yet at the stadium where the council promised to expand the changing rooms among other necessary improvements to the facility.

It is important that Rufaro Stadium be restored as a venue for topflight matches considering its accessibility to football fans, compared to the National Sports Stadium.

We urge Harare City Council to undertake the necessary work at the stadium so that the game, which struggled to attract fans last term, can benefit.

What is pleasing is that Gweru-based Sheasham have gone out of their way to renovate Bata Stadium which they will use for their home matches this season after gaining promotion from the Central Region Division One.

The stadium is shaping up nicely, with a new perimeter fence as well as changing rooms already in place.

Sheasham had problems with the Gweru City Council earlier when they tried to improve Ascot Stadium, resulting in them playing their Division One matches at Gweru Sports Club. They entered into a deal with Bata Shoe Company for the use of its stadium.

We commend Sheasham for such an initiative and likewise Simba Bhora, who are working on playing their home matches in Shamva.

But we implore the Harare City Council to improve the stadia under its watch, including Gwanzura in order to take the beautiful game back to the people.

With Sheasham opting to play at Bata and WhaWha having been relegated to the second tier, we urge Gweru City Council to take advantage and facelift Ascot Stadium to the required standard.

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